In the two or so years that I’ve been blogging, it’s been really interesting for me to see which articles get more traffic than others. I have noticed that the articles which do best are the same ones that I had previously googled a lot about myself, so I suppose it makes sense that the search engines would push people in my direction. Today I’m going to go over my top 5 most popular posts and show you how many views they have earned (as of 4/18, the day I am writing this. Since updating to a premium plan very recently, the traffic for these posts has gone up even more!) 


‘Should We Be Worried About Julia Zelg?’

Julia Zelg - Online Personalities - Pretty Ugly Little Liar

Views: 4,439

To date, this is my most-viewed article on my blog. Even though Julia Zelg is not a particularly famous YouTuber, she has still created a lot of conversation on the internet, and there is even an entire forum dedicated to covering her. When you search for Julia Zelg on Google, one of the first things that pops up is that thread, and right below that thread is my blog. With that being said, I think a majority of my views definitely come from people who are trying to find more information or drama about Julia, and that is only further pushing my blog up in the search queue. I think it says something very interesting about our culture that drama and ‘tea’ is what will garner content creators such as myself the most views, don’t you think? With that being said, I totally get it. I mean, the title of the article is literally ‘Should We Be Worried About Julia Zelg?’ I’m sure Julia has read the article, and even though it could be perceived that I’m shining a negative light on her in the piece, I genuinely really like her as a person (I’ve met her) and I really hope she appreciates the concern of her fans. I also don’t think I’m going to be covering any Julia Zelg news from now on, even though it brings me a lot of traffic, because I think too much media scrutiny on her could be damaging for her well-being (even if it is well-intentioned, like mine is.)


‘Movie Meaning Monday: Is Coraline a Metaphor for Domestic Abuse?’

Shocktober: Coraline in North Kansas City at Screenland Armour

Views: 2,843

This was one of those topics that I had previously tried to research myself but could never find any information for, so I decided to go ahead and write my very own article about it. Apparently, a lot of other people were wondering the same thing about Coraline. Coraline is one of my absolute favorite films, and the more I watch it, the more I want to analyze it. In general, I absolutely love analyzing films, and I’d definitely like to write some more film articles in the future. I was really pleased that so many other people agreed with me about this topic, and I think there are several dynamic theories about this movie yet to be explored. It actually wasn’t getting too much traffic for a while, but in the last few months (around last September,) it randomly started to garner hundreds of views. To this day, I am very proud of this article. 


‘The Refreshing Elegance of John Maclean’

John Maclean: purveyor of refinement, elegance, and beauty ...

Views: 2,756

This article is very special to me because it was the first piece I wrote to be noticed by a “famous person,” i.e., John Maclean himself. John Maclean is a makeup artist and YouTuber based in London, and if you’ve watched his videos before, you’re definitely familiar with his unique style, impressive vocabulary, and overall vampire-esque beauty. I wrote this article to praise him for his individuality and creativity, and by some magic, he noticed it and thanked me via Twitter. After that, like I said, this was my first article to get substantial traffic after being noticed. I received so much love from other John Maclean fans as well, so that was an amazing feeling! Even though I wrote this article so long ago, I’m still very proud of it and I’m very happy John now knows how much I appreciate his work. I’m also so grateful to him for giving me a platform and a voice to share my writing. 


‘Movie Meaning Monday: Is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang an Allusion to Nazi Germany?’

10 things you didn't know about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang | The ...

Views: 1,733

Fun fact, on Nathaniel and I’s first date, I mentioned that I had written this article and he read it from start to finish right next to me. And then we had our first kiss about two seconds later, so that’s what I think about whenever I see this article pop back into my life (I know, it’s a terrible connection.) Like the Coraline article, this was a subject I did a ton of research on but couldn’t find a lot of other people talking about, so I decided to go ahead and write my own piece. Even though I think Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a wee bit problematic, I actually really like this movie a lot because I grew up with it. Nathaniel thinks the article and my description is absolutely wild, since he hasn’t seen it in years. I can only imagine how somebody would feel reading that article if they had never seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I’m pretty sure my entire description of it sounds like a nightmare. 


‘Berrylook: A Brilliant Scam’

BerryLook Review: BerryLook.com Scam or Legit - NOI
FAKE!

Views: 859

My fifth most-viewed article is an exposé of the company Berrylook, aka NinaCloak. Basically, they’re one of those scammy overseas companies that advertises fake clothing, steals your money, and then sends you absolute shit (or nothing at all.) I’ve never been scammed by them, but I almost was, so I decided to write a warning piece to other consumers who may come across their deceiving ads. Based on my traffic and response, it sounds like a lot of people were almost scammed or unfortunately had terrible experiences with this fake company. I’m glad I was able to offer a voice to people to leave their experiences in the comment, and maybe, I could have even saved somebody from almost ordering from this fake brand. Always be extremely wary before you drop money online, folks! 


So, that’s my summary of my top five articles, traffic-wise! Maybe down the line I’ll post a summary of my top five articles I’ve ever written, if that is interesting to you. Let me know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to my email list if you want to be notified every time I post! Thanks so much for reading.

I consider myself to be pretty careful when it comes to browsing the terrifying void that is the interwebs. I always ensure that my phone searching is set to “private”, so my history and personal information cannot be saved when I visit sites that might try to loot me of my data. Nothing detrimental has happened to me before, but you can never be too safe, right?

Actually, there was a situation where I almost got myself tied up in a fraudulent internet extortion. And that’s what I’m here to talk about today, the time I almost metaphorically threw $200 into a burning trash can. Like I said, I tend to be pretty careful when I use the internet, so the fact that I almost got tricked by this shady website is marginally concerning.

Basically, here’s the story from start to finish. I was browsing on Google or Amazon, as I so often am, and a clothing store advertisement popped up on the sidebar of my screen. I was used to seeing advertisements like this before- that is how companies track our spending habits and sell to us, after all- but I’d seen this exact company advertising to me at least 5-6 times in the past. In my naive stupidity, which I have subsequently learned from, I decided that it was unlikely a powerful company like Google would let a blatant scam slide through as one of its advertisers. They have to have some control as to who they let advertise, right?

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That was pretty much the primary catalyst for me to just look at the site, which is called BerryLook. I wasn’t going in with the intention of purchasing anything, I just wanted to see what this advertisement Google was shoving down my throat was all about. And if it looked reliable enough, well, I could go from there and decide if it was worth it.

There are red flags to look for when determining if a site is fraudulent, but unfortunately, BerryLook is cunningly smart in covering their tracks. First and foremost, the site itself is arranged and laid out to look extremely professional and high-end. You have to really look hard to find any spelling errors or discrepancies, the photographs are all professionally shot, and even the site reviews are all extremely positive. On the evening I was contemplating ordering some clothes, the site was having a huge blowout sale, and I’m not surprised to see that (yet again!) the site is holding another sale on all clothing. It’s just another marketing technique to make the clothes look more expensive than they actually are, so you really think you’re getting a great deal when you shop. And, like I said, each and every product I looked at on the site had at least a four star review. Fantastic!

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I think I started dropping items into my cart (it might have been my payday), and whilst I was in the middle of punching in my card, I started to feel…a little off. And that was when I decided to look at some external reviews from other websites, causing me to gasp loudly and essentially save my $200 from being thrown into the abyss.

YIKES.

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Probably goes without saying, I emptied that damn cart and deleted all my card information faster than you could say “scam”. And, immediately afterwards, I found myself kicking myself in the midst of my relief. How the hell could I have almost let that happen? Why is this legal? WHY WOULD GOOGLE HARASS ME WITH THESE ADS?!

There’s way too many fingers we can point in this situation, but from a consumer perspective, I’m just here to warn other ladies and gents from similar situations. Because BerryLook is actually a Chinese company (not from the US, like they claim on the website), there’s nothing the FTC can actually do to stop this scam. Trust me, I’ve tried reaching out before, in my ravenous outrage after realizing I almost got scammed out of two hundred hard-earned bucks.

I can’t explain to you how these fraudulent advertisements made their way to me (and tens of thousands of other poor suckers), but I’m happy to show you some actual, authentic reviews! (In case you hadn’t figured it out by now, the reviews on the actual BerryLook site are generated by computer bots. Another crafty marketing tactic, might I add).

Hilariously, the paid accounts and bots that we see on the BerryLook app have also tried to peep up on actual authentic review sites, like TrustPilot and Sitejabber. Trust me, I could spend HOURS just watching these bots get attacked by the angry scammed customers. It’s live entertainment at its finest.

On several of these negative reviews, BerryLook responds with the same old automatic message with irrelevant links to nonexistent tracking numbers. Even if you didn’t order anything, and you’re just posting a review to shit all over the company (like I did), you’ll still get an automated bot message asking you for your tracking number. It’s actually hysterical.

I’m very happy to report that BerryLook is getting the negative exposure it deserves through these negative reviews and Facebook pages dedicated to denouncing the brand, but BerryLook is just one of many fraudulent companies. Because these companies are overseas, there isn’t much we can do as consumers besides just continue to expose them. The legal action we can take is just not really up-to-par yet, even though Google is the one referring us to these fraudulent companies…

What I can do, however, is offer some tips and advice on how you can avoid a similar situation. First and foremost, the reviews you read on the site are not always reliable, and you should take them with a grain of salt. My personal favorite sites for reliable reviews are TrustPilot and Sitejabber, like I said, but I also visit Scam Finance and Knoji. Read up on the company as much as possible so you know your money and card information is safe, especially if it’s a brand you’ve never heard of. Keep a sharp eye out for grammar mistakes and constant sitewide sales, as these can usually be signs of fraudulent foreign sites. And, above all, listen to your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, especially when it comes to spending your money, it probably isn’t.

If you’ve experienced a similar situation, of if you’ve actually been scammed by BerryLook yourself, let me know in the comments! I’m quite shocked at the lack of media coverage this issue is getting, considering the fact that thousands of people have been ripped off by this company alone.

Coming up next: #WCW: Anne Shirley from Book to Television